The topic of discussion is, of course, TechCrunch's rumor that Digg will soon be acquired by Google for somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million. Digg's users are debating what Google acquiring Digg might mean for their community in this thread on the site. The question is, would being controlled by a big company like Google ruin--or enhance--the community that Digg … Read more
Social-news site Digg.com, a perpetual target of acquisition rumors, is in "final negotiations" to sell itself to Google for $200 million, according to a TechCrunch report Tuesday that cited multiple sources.
Google has been in talks to bring Digg into the Google News group, but it could be a few weeks before the deal closes, if it closes, according to the report.
Representatives for Google and Digg did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Usually a "no comment" or the like is the response to questions about rumored acquisition negotiations. However, that was not … Read more
An unlikely drama is playing out in, of all places, the security research field. Researcher Dan Kaminsky says that earlier this year, he discovered a serious flaw in the Domain Name System that drives the Internet. He's spent the last few months coordinating a huge project to get the flaw patched by all necessary companies before disclosing details about the flaw. But now a fellow researcher has taken a public guess at what the flaw was. And whether he's right or not, Kaminsky is warning companies to patch their software immediately. Reporter Robert Vamosi joins me in the … Read more
HALF MOON BAY, Calif.--Facebook's business playbook takes a page from those of the early dot-coms: build it and then figure out how to make money.
Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook, said here in a panel interview Tuesday that Facebook's primary goal is to grow its social network. Second is monetization.
"Our focus is on growth--we believe this is the moment people are joining social networks," Sandberg said here at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, a three-day gathering on technology and media. "Then it's monetization to support that growth."
Her … Read more
I did a double take recently after listening to Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell acknowledge that his company was ready to lose even more money in online services in the near term, if that's what it takes to catch Google. During the company's earnings call last week, Liddell indicated that Microsoft is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into its online advertising business, an investment he allowed would be "a drag" on the rest of the company.
Updated July 24 to fix London walking map
There are some online mapping news tidbits on Tuesday.
First, Google has expanded its walking directions feature from a test for a limited number of users to a public beta covering everywhere that driving directions are available, according to the Google LatLong blog.
For directions that are 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) or less the walking directions option will appear. "We'll try to find you a route that's direct, flat, and uses pedestrian pathways when we know about them," the blog posting says.
You can use Google's … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman doesn't typically bash Google in the press.
While Google CEO Eric Schmidt has publicly ridiculed Viacom for filing a $1 billion copyright claim against Google and YouTube, Dauman is usually more reserved.
But at a small press gathering Monday night in San Francisco, Dauman discussed some of the events that led up to the lawsuit and what he sees as wrong with Google's handling of the entertainment industry. (I wasn't taking direct notes, so I'll paraphrase most of what he said.)
First, Dauman noted that one of the first meetings he … Read more
Here's why I'm a Gmail convert: for the first time since I started using e-mail nearly 20 years ago, I can keep my in-box tidy.
A month ago, I switched my personal e-mail from Yahoo Mail, with which I've been generally happy. What attracted me to Gmail was a number of specific Gmail features, but what I've come to appreciate is the big picture: a new way to look at the task of e-mail.
The old paradigm follows the metaphor of a paper-pushing office job with an in-box, trash can, and filing cabinet.
Gmail brings that paper pushing into the computer age. Most messages I care about are already organized with labels automatically as they arrive. I still must read and reply if necessary, but after that I just plop messages into a giant archive with no pesky manual filing. They can be retrieved easily via search or labels.
The result: my Gmail in-box has 14 messages in it, and I've had no trouble thus far keeping it in that neighborhood. I wouldn't say it's life-changing, but it's an improvement.
Here's one measure of its user interface success: several times a day, I miss Gmail features absent from my work e-mail, which uses Microsoft Outlook connected to an Exchange server. That Gmail accomplishment is notable given that its interface uses a relatively primitive Web-based foundation, while Outlook gets all the computing horsepower and interface richness of a Windows PC.
Google's philosophy with Gmail is to aim for the needs of power users. That might sound like foolishly overlooking the much larger mainstream market. But I think it's smart, because given the increasing importance of Internet communications, an ordinary user tomorrow will face the same challenges as a power user today.
Despite my overall satisfaction, though, the advantages I found in Gmail made its deficiencies all the more glaring. And the transition from Yahoo was extremely unpleasant. Here are some details for those of you thinking of taking the plunge.
The three Gmail features that wooed me Three Gmail features got me to make the move, and all three proved just as desirable as I anticipated.
The first feature is labels. Yahoo Mail, like Outlook, Thunderbird, Eudora, and every other e-mail client I've used, requires me to sort keeper e-mail into folders. Many times, though, I've been bothered by folders' fundamental organizational limit: you can put a message in only one folder. So with a message from my old roommate about his new camera, do I put that into the folder for him or the one for photography? And a year later, when I want to retrieve it, where should I look?
With Gmail, you can have multiple labels on a particular e-mail--one for both "family" and "wife," for example, not to mention "money," "travel," "tech support," and various other categories I use often. By color-coding labels, various categories are easily found in my in-box, and clicking a label shows all mails that use it.
Yahoo Mail made major progress around this problem by finally fixing its previously ineffectual search ability, but I still like labels a lot better.
Update at 7:00 a.m. July 19: Typo fixed in the senator's last name.
Illinois Sen. Everett Dirksen is remembered for the quip, "A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money." (Truth be told, it's unclear whether those were his exact words, but he's got that tagline for posterity.)
I was thinking of the former senator after listening to Microsoft's chief financial officer explain to analysts why the company intends to continue to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into a business which still isn't producing much … Read more
Investors punished Google for the less-than-stellar second quarter results it reported on Thursday, sending the share price down about 10 percent to $482 in Friday trading. So what went wrong?
No one thing was responsible, but a few factors combined to make a 35 percent growth in net income to $1.25 billion look like bad news.
Interest income First, the company missed expectations: net income, excluding various items, was $4.63 per share, short of the $4.74 expected by analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, and that's usually enough to send the stock down in after-hours trading.
But … Read more